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Kyiv asks for cruise missiles from Germany

Published May 27, 2023last updated May 27, 2023

The Taurus cruise missiles requested have a range of over 500 kilometers (310 miles). Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated that any German weapons are not to be used to strike Russian territory. DW has the latest.

Firefighter in front of destroyed building of medical facility ín Dnipro, Ukraine
The reports of Ukraine requesting Taurus cruise missiles from Germany came a day after a missile strike hit the Ukrainian city of Dnipro Image: Vitalii Matokha/AFP

Ukraine has requested that Germany provide it with Taurus cruise missiles, a German Defense Ministry spokeswoman said.

"We have received a request from the Ukrainian side in recent days," the ministry spokeswoman told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency on Saturday.

The missiles requested have a range of over 500 kilometers (310 miles), which would make it possible for Ukraine to strike Russian territory.

Kyiv's allies have so far been cautious about providing arms to Ukraine that could reach Russia.

On Friday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated that weapons supplied by Germany to Ukraine are not to be used to strike Russian soil.

"Russia attacked Ukraine, and that's why Ukraine can defend itself," Scholz said while visiting the Estonian capital Tallinn. "And at the same time it is clear that the weapons we supplied will only be used on Ukrainian territory," he stressed.

Here are some of the other developments concerning Russia's war in Ukraine on Saturday, May 27:

Russia says it intercepts attacks from Ukraine

Russian forces have intercepted two long-range British Storm Shadow cruise missiles, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The ministry also said that Russia had intercepted HIMARS-launched and HARM missiles.

It said that Russia's forces had shot down 12 drones over the last 24 hours.

Russia did not specify where the interceptions occurred.

Russian officials report drone attack, shelling

An attack by two drones has caused an explosion in the northwestern Russian region of Pskov, said Mikhail Vedernikov, the regional governor.

The incident occurred near the village of Litvinovo, less than 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the country's border with Belarus.

"Provisionally, the building was damaged as a result of an attack by two unmanned aerial vehicles," Vedernikov said

The governor said that there were no casualties resulting from the apparent attack, which he blamed on Kyiv.

Russia attacks Dnipro hospital

Meanwhile, the governor of the southwestern Russian region of Kursk accused Ukraine of shelling that he said had killed a construction worker in the village of Plekhovo.

Kursk Governor Roman Starovoit said that work was being carried out near the village to fortify Russia's defensive lines for the border with Ukraine.

Hours later, Russian media reported a strike on the Druzhba oil pipeline in the Tver region, which lies just northwest of Moscow.

Russia's Kommersant newspaper said that two drones attacked oil pipeline installations in the Tver village of Erokhino.

Hundreds of German civil servants to leave Russia

Hundreds of German civil servants have been requested by Moscow to leave Russia, according to media reports.

The request has been made to civil servants working in education and in the cultural sector, Germany's Foreign Ministry said. 

It follows a decision by Russian authorities to force Germany to reduce its diplomatic staff and presence at public institutions, such as the Goethe Institute or the German school in Moscow, at the beginning of June.

China says will work for political settlement in Ukraine

Chinese special envoy Li Hui said that Beijing will make concrete efforts for a political solution to the Ukraine crisis during a meeting with Russian Defense Ministry officials.

Li said that China has always adhered to an objective and fair position on Ukraine.

"China has always followed the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, adhered to an objective and fair position, actively persuaded peace and promoted talks, decided its own position according to the merits of the matter itself, and always firmly stood on the side of peace and dialogue," the Chinese official said.

Russia dismisses nuclear deployment criticism from US

Russia's embassy in the United States has issued a statement rejecting Washington's criticism of the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.

"It is the sovereign right of Russia and Belarus to ensure their security by means we deem necessary amidst of a large-scale hybrid war unleashed by Washington against us," the embassy declared in a statement.

"The measures we undertake are fully consistent with our international legal obligations," it said.

The embassy accused the US of hypocrisy, arguing that Washington had deployed nuclear weapons in Europe.

"The United States has been for decades maintaining a large arsenal of its nuclear weapons in Europe," the embassy said. "Together with its NATO allies it participates in nuclear sharing arrangements and trains for scenarios of nuclear weapons use against our country."

The United States has deployed nuclear weapons in Western Europe since 1954, with the first weapons being stationed in the United Kingdom.

The Federation of American Scientists says that the US has 100 B61 tactical nuclear weapons in Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Tehran accuses Kyiv of 'anti-Iranian propaganda' over drone accusations

Iran's Foreign Ministry has accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of anti-Iranian propaganda over claims that Tehran has supplied Russia with drones.

"The Ukrainian president's repeat of delusional claims against the Islamic Republic of Iran is in line with the anti-Iranian propaganda and media war aimed at attracting as many arms and financial aid as possible from Western countries," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in a statement.

Kanaani claimed that Kyiv is refusing to allow an independent investigation into the claims.

Iran initially denied supplying Russia with Shahed drones, but later said it provided a small number before the start of the invasion on February 24, 2022.

"Your Shaheds, which terrorise Ukraine every night, mean only that the people of Iran are being driven deeper and deeper into the dark side of history," Zelenskyy said on Wednesday.

Wagner likely withdrawing from area around Bakhmut — UK intelligence

The British Defense Ministry has said that Wagner mercenaries "have likely started to withdraw from some of their positions around the Donetsk city of Bakhmut" in an intelligence update.

"On 25 May 2023, Wagner owner Yevgeny Prigozhin said the withdrawal of his forces from Bakhmut had begun and that transfer of positions to the Russian Ministry of Defence (MOD) would continue to 01 June 2023," it said.

It said that pro-Russian separatist forces had begun entering the city for clearance operations starting on Wednesday.

The ministry said that Wagner forces "will likely be used to further offensive operations in the Donbas" despite founder Yevgeniy Prigozhin's feud with the Russian Defense Ministry.

sdi/fb (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)